Friday, September 10, 2010

Interviews, Book Excitement, and Follower Contests

I am sick today. Fuzzy head, achy muscles, and stuffy nose sick.

But it's okay! Because there are so many exciting things going on right now!

Interviews!! I'm doing a series on WriteOnCon's fabulous organizers about how it was to put together the world's first completely free, completely online writers conference, and what's next for WriteOnCon!

Each Friday, I post an interview over at the Operation Awesome blog. Currently, we've got:

Elana Johnson
Casey McCormick (this one's fresh from today, so skip over and say hi to Casey!)

I just recently posted an interview with literary agent Natalie Fischer, in case you missed that one. Update: This interview now includes her favorite TV shows and movies. Woot! She's a BONES fan. :-)

There's a tab across the top of my blog (go ahead and look) for all the interviews I do, whether they're based here or over at Operation Awesome. It's a great resource for writers who want to learn more about agents and the online writing community (which is probably the best online community in the history of online communities!!!).

Book Excitement!! Last night I finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I am now officially caught up with y'all who are just now reading Mockingjay. Give me a day and I'll be caught up with y'all who already finished Mockingjay! :-)

Can I just say that all of you who read Catching Fire before Mockingjay came out are freakin' book warriors?! I think I might have gone insane from that Lord-of-the-Rings-esque ending--that wasn't really an ending--if I hadn't been able to turn to the first few chapters of Mockingjay immediately after. So I'm in the throes of District (no spoilers here) and the leaders who kind of creep me out. Pray for me to get to the sunshiny parts soon.

There is sunshine, right? Right? (See this post about my fear of dark literature.) Of course I am loving the trilogy, and marveling at Suzanne Collin's genius in creating something so compelling and complex.

Follower Contests!! Of all the funny situations: my blog following is now at 49 at the exact same time as Operation Awesome is at 99. We are just on the cusps of 50 and 100! I'm not making an official announcement, but I will say that we have something fun planned as soon as we reach 100. Thank you, by the way, for all your support of Operation Awesome! We are honored to have reached so many wonderful writers in such a short time (the blog is only 10 days old). Our goal is to give back and pay it forward, and that gets easier with every awesome follower who shares our links or retweets.

As for me, I plan to do something special when Mr. or Mrs. 50th Follower comes along.

*insert drumroll*

A contest to win my favorite punctuation book of all time:

EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

I read this years ago, but it stays with me always. If you'd told me before I picked it up that I'd actually enjoy reading a book about punctuation, I'd have given you that raised eyebrows look you're giving me now. Stop that! You'll wrinkle your forehead!

It really is hilarious, especially if you're already one of those people who can't stand it when people say, "I could care less" when they mean "I couldn't care less." Or maybe you're one of those people who balked when you saw the movie poster for Two Weeks Notice (where's the apostrophe?!!).

But even if you're not. If you're the opposite--someone who doesn't get punctuation (but desperately wants to)--this book is for you.

When I hit fifty followers, one winner will win this frawesome book! Update: WE HAVE OVER 50 FOLLOWERS! The contest is a go! Comment to enter.

To enter, leave a comment telling me on a scale from 1-10 where you stand on the punctuation train, 10 being punctuation expert and 1 being "where the heck does this semi-colon go?"

Happy writing, everybody! And good luck!


  1. I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle. Put me at about a 5. I found you off Elana Johnson’s blog. Nice to meet you. Great blog.

  2. Yay! Laura you are my fiftieth follower! I have to say, I love your blog, too! What a great idea: trash to treasure. I'm a packrat, so I love it when old busted things can be reinstated in some way.

    Elana is amazing, isn't she? I still can't believe she sleeps with all she gets done during the day.

    Consider yourself entered in the contest!

  3. I notice everyone's punctuation mistakes... except my own. And come on - who knew that the English punctuation I learned in school in England would be different from punctuation taught in schools in the US? How can one language have two different sets of punctuation rules?? *Sigh* So I'm kind of re-learning again :( Nice blog ... I'm #51 :)

  4. I think that third person syndrome is common in all facets of life. I don't see my errors either. And I was also surprised to learn how different UK punctuation is from US mechanics. One of my critique partners is a Brit, and I'm always moving things around on her (particularly spelling). It's a *glamourous* life in the UK!

  5. I think I'm about a 5 (although, now that I've written that, I'm sure I'll be making tons of grammatical mistakes in this one comment, making people wonder if I might not be a 1 instead ;)). I understand the basic grammar, but have the hardest time with tenses.

  6. Oh I daren't even rank myself on the whole punctuation scale. Thank God I have awesome crit partners who suffer my UK punctuation/spelling and change it around. :)

  7. Sandy, I felt the same way while writing this post. "Great, now that I'm writing about punctuation, they're going to scrutinize mine!" :) Imagine actually being Lynne Truss and writing a whole book on the subject. The copy edits must have been a monster.

    Lindsay, I'm pretty sure if I tried for publication in the UK, I'd be laughed off the stage. You do a wonderful job with the translation. (Guys, she is an awesome writer! The rest of the world will know soon...)

  8. Think I'm probably about a 7. I know the basic rules of punctuation (mostly), but there's always more to learn. And grammar is a bit trickier, particularly with the international variances...

    It's funny isn't it, how much easier it is to pick up on your critique partners' punctuation errors than it is your own... :)


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